The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) held in Dubai in 2023 faced a significant increase in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks targeting environmental services [1] [2] [3]. This highlights the growing intersection between environmental issues and cybersecurity [1] [2] [3], making it a prime target for attackers in the digital age.


According to Cloudflare’s DDoS Threat Report for 2023 Q4 [1] [2] [3], there was a staggering 61,839% surge in HTTP DDoS attack traffic against environmental websites during COP 28 compared to the previous year [3]. These attacks accounted for half of all observed DDoS attacks during that quarter [2] [3], marking a shift from previous cryptocurrency-related attacks [2]. Similar trends were observed during previous UN climate summits and environmental events [2] [3]. The report suggests that the increased profile of environmental websites due to significant environmental events may have contributed to the rise in attacks [3].


The significant increase in DDoS attacks targeting environmental services during COP 28 raises concerns about the impact of cyber threats on environmental initiatives. It is crucial to address the growing intersection between environmental issues and cybersecurity to ensure the protection of vital environmental data and services. Efforts should be made to enhance the resilience of environmental websites and develop robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate future attacks. As environmental issues continue to gain prominence, it is imperative to recognize the need for a comprehensive approach that considers both the physical and digital aspects of environmental protection.